Wildlife

A year of Great Gray Owls The irruptive movement of Great Gray Owls has been an enormous cause for excitement this winter in the Adirondacks and North Country. It is the year in the multi-year cycle in which they might move south, and I began monitoring the owls weeks ago as I watched reports in Canada of them coming closer and closer to our border. The birds have been in northern Franklin County and at Robert Moses State Park in Massena for over a month, attracting many, many people to go see them. Over that time I’ve been in several conversations about other possible locations to find the... continue reading
 
Finding Ferngully I believe the official name for it is Shoebox Falls, but my friends have always called it Ferngully, and it's easy to see why. It's a magical sort of place. Tucked away off state Route 73, it's only a five-minute walk from the road, but you would never know it was there unless somebody pointed it out. There are no signs, and not much in the way of parking spots. In fact, if you were to drive past where the cars must haphazardly park to visit the spot, you might wonder what was so worthwhile that the drivers would even attempt it. Between the curving, narrow-shouldered road... continue reading
 
Birding in Placid! Summer in the Lake Placid Region is a wonderful time of year. And birding at the Intervale Lowlands Preserve in Lake Placid is one of the best ways to enjoy it. With long days and lots of singing birds, it is easy to tally up a great list of warblers and other species. Even better for me is that doing so is part of my job. As one of the many hats I wear, I conduct a variety of field research and I am fortunate enough to conduct some of it at Intervale. As a result I’ve been there looking for birds a few times of late. Each time I go to Intervale is a bit different than... continue reading
 
For immediate release LAKE PLACID — New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Marnines and Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan Burgerking jointly announced a long-awaited major decision regarding rails and trails in the Adirondack Park.  Starting this spring, the DEC and DOT will partner together on a plan to install train tracks on popular Adirondack hiking trails.  “We recognize that more than two-thirds of Americans aged 20 or older are overweight or obese, and that number is only growing. The number of elderly... continue reading
 
A Small Secretive Owl Of the three most common breeding owl species in the Adirondacks (the Northern Saw-whet Owl, Barred Owl, and Great Horned Owl), the Saw-whet is the smallest and most mysterious. More often heard than seen, this completely nocturnal owl’s secretive nature makes its habits little known to humans. Relentless Tooting The Northern Saw-whet Owl’s advertising call is rather unusual. The Birds of North America account for this species describes the male’s call as “A monotonous series of whistled notes on a constant pitch." Birders refer to this vocalization as the “tooting”... continue reading
 
“Are there really alligators in Lake Placid? Where can we go to see them?” The Visitors Center on Main Street, Lake Placid, Adirondacks USA fields those questions on a weekly basis via phone, email and even in person. And they’ve been answering that question since 1999, when the first movie named "Lake Placid" was released. My Twitter search for the words “Lake Placid” returns a lot of references to our gorgeous destination in the Adirondacks, but it also lists a ton of references to the series of horror films. The percentage of those references increases exponentially as we near Halloween... continue reading
 
Some of the best scenic destinations near Lake PlacidLake Placid is loaded with scenic destinations, but not all of them are long hikes or even moderate hikes; the Lake Placid Region can fulfill it all. These destinations I have chosen are perfect for those not wishing to do much hiking at all. In fact these destinations are within a ten minute walk of the parking lot, no special hiking equipment required, you could even do them in your flip flops if you want. I hope you enjoy these selected short ventures and take lots of pictures while you’re out there.  Cascade Lakes and Cascade... continue reading
 
Embedded thumbnail for Spring Into Lake Placid Events
From arts to action sports, Spring is filled with events to keep everyone happy this year. Adult puppet entertainment! In the arts realm, Lake Placid Center for the Arts brings to the stage a nice schedule of entertainment, including a touring production of the Broadway smash hit, 'Avenue Q' on June 6 and 7. With its irreverent and decidedly gown-up humor, the show's stars, felt puppets, portray a recent college graduate and his new neighbors who all live on Avenue Q. Hysterically funny and  fast-paced, the key words are fun, fun and fun! (Warning - this show is most assuredly for adult... continue reading
 
            What started as a few scattered early reports of Snowy Owls turned into a flood of owls seemingly overnight.  While Snowys are not uncommonly found in places in the northeast during the winter, this year they are staging an invasion.                         A friend and I went birding north of Plattsburgh a few weeks ago looking for Snowy Owls at the beginning of the movement.  We found none, but that day a Snowy was found on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain.  Two days later someone found a Snowy near Chazy, but the owl was gone the following day.  Two more owls were found in... continue reading
 
Winter Bird Watching  I had a few guests in town this Thanksgiving holiday and I took them to see the Gray Jays along the north end of the Bloomingdale Bog Trail.  It is the best place to find Gray Jays in the Adirondacks and the region.  It was a cold day and the trail was quiet as we walked south toward the power lines where the jays are usually found. As we approached the makeshift feeder which folks have constructed there, we saw a lot of bird activity.  Black-capped Chickadees and Blue Jays buzzed to and from the feeder into which someone had poured some sunflower seeds.  As we walked... continue reading
 

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